Saturday, December 29, 2007

A Very Cool New Feature on TFG

See that orange and pink box under the all of the contact and link icons on my TFG page? For the professionals advertising on The Flirty Guide this is a waaaaaaaaaaaaay cool new feature you're going to love! It's a Buzz Box. What's a Buzz Box? It's where you can update visitors to let them know: to check out your latest press, that you'll be at a showcase or bridal fair or advertise your latest specials and promotions. You can go in WHENEVER you want and update the Buzz Box with WHATEVER you think your visitors and fans would love to know about you and your business!

This is a standard feature now included with each and every profile page on TFG.

Friday, December 28, 2007

Chicken Vegetable Pot Pie

So here's my latest... Technically it wasn't so much a pot pie as a cottage pie (I replaced the crust with mashed potato). Filled with baby carrots, pearl onions, potato, celery, chicken, thyme and cream sauce, oh my gosh it was so yummy! If you want the recipe let me know and I'll send it to you. It would be just as good vegetarian style, which I will try the next time I make it. My new sweet hubby made a Cesar salad and we were good to go for dinner!

Now that all of my kitchen equipment is moved to my new residence I am cooking again. There are some things in life I LOVE to do when I have the time. Reading, painting and cooking are among some of my passions that I've sorely neglected the past couple of years. While I still don't have the time for reading and painting, cooking is something that I am managing to make part of my daily routine again. I have killer cookware. From my Henkel knives to my All Clad and Le Creuset cookware I'm covered. While most women I know can't resist buying clothes and shoes? For me? Williams Sonoma and Sur La Table are the stores I can't resist.

Normally it would be difficult to justify spending a lot of $$$ on kitchenware and gadgets but years ago I was in not one but 2 car accidents within 3 months of each other, neither of which were my fault. Fortunately both cars that hit me were insured under the same company so the settlement part was pretty straightforward. After suffering from severe whiplash for over a year I decided to spend my entire settlement on something that would bring me as much pleasure as the accidents had caused pain... I decided to go on a kitchen equipment shopping spree that can only be compared to the one Julia Roberts experienced in Pretty Woman. It was great and I still have all of it to this day. I lovingly hand scrub and dry all of my pots, pans, gadgets and utensils. They are all in like new condition over a decade later.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

The TFG Fansite!

So I created a TFG Fansite on Facebook.

Feel free to join to see some of my wedding pics and for announcements about the Guide in 2008.

LOL yes that's my dog who was our "Mutt of Honor" at the wedding. For some reason he looks like a hairy troll. Normally he looks like a scruffy dog. Not sure why he looked so "puffy" that day. Maybe it was because it was so windy :P

Friday, December 14, 2007

My FAVORITE Tea & Tofu Burger

This is an excellent tea. It's called Ryokucha and the only place I've ever had it is at the Samovar Tea Lounge in San Francisco at the Yerba Buena Gardens. It's right behind the Metreon across from the reflecting pool. It's a genmaicha (with toasted rice) green tea that has a bit of matcha (powdered tea) mixed in giving it a beautiful bright green hue. It took 3 visits before they had the Ryokucha in stock to purchase and take home with me. The first container I bought I gave as a gift to my mom. Thankfully they had it the next time I went there for dinner. I bought a second tin and have been enjoying for the past few weeks. Aside from the health benefits from drinking green tea I drink it because I love it!

The second best thing at Samovar is their tofu burger. It's not like any other tofu burger. Don't think of a slab of white tofu. Nope, theirs is crumbled and mixed with bits of veggies and seaweed topped off with BBQ sauce of all things! It is amazingly great!

The other neat thing about the lounge is that it isn't just English or Asian tea. The menu boasts selections that vary from American, Chinese, English, Indian, Japanese, Moorish and Russian. So you can savor one of their many teas that accompany food from the same region.

This is the view from in front of the restaurant. There is indoor and outdoor seating available though I doubt the outdoor service is available at this time of year. The reflecting pool I saw once on an episode of Animal Cops SF. There was a seagull that had fishing line tangled around it's feet so the Animal Control officer had to go wading to catch and release the bird. It was a happy ending so that's all that mattered.

I forgot my camera the last time I went so a big thanks to my pal Carl for letting me use his to take the tofu burger and cityscape shots!

Thursday, December 13, 2007

When I was a kid...

The Sweet Smell of Christmas (Scented Storybook)We had a scratch and sniff Christmas book. One of my most favorite things about the holiday season now is that each holiday season, just in time for Christmas, Dreyer's comes out with their limited edition peppermint ice cream! I usually get it every year. Except for last year. Though I searched for it high and low it was to no avail. When I saw it at Safeway the other day I went giddy for a moment. The ice cream tastes exactly like how the peppermint in the book smelled. It's a special treat that I enjoy for the short window of time the flavor is available.

Try some. If you don't love it, drop the rest off with me!

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

New and Improved!

After receiving some feedback about the contact information being a little tricky to see on the professional's profile pages on The Flirty Guide, I redesigned them to include easy to see icons depicting among other things their website, email, blog, Myspace and Facebook page links.

I hope you find the change useful!

Friday, December 7, 2007

Ouch! That would have hurt!

I was out on the town tonight with a friend at a fun holiday event. We were walking back to our cars when we were almost run over in a crosswalk! Seriously! We were half way across the street and an oncoming car, driven by a man who shall remain nameless (because I don't know his name LOL) decides to pull into the intersection. We stop in the center of the cross walk between the two corners assuming he's just cutting us off. All of a sudden he turns his wheel hard to make a u-turn aiming directly into the crosswalk! There was no time to run and no place to hide, and he wasn't looking forward at all, just to his left to make the turn. I would have been hit first, so as my friend screamed at the top of her lungs I tipped my gold umbrella forward like a shield and waved it. I don't know if that was what caught his eye or if he just happened to finally look up but he slammed on his brakes and stopped about 15 feet from me. I swear 3 more seconds and I'd have had 2 broken legs at best or would have been squished under his car at worst. I guess I could have also been hit, breaking my legs then thrown from the impact landing on my head cracking my skull. The possibilities are endless and none are very pleasant. It was very scary to say the least.

So if you, Mr. Illegal U-turn Man, read this blog post, please in the future go to the corner and make a right, then a right, then a right, then a left. That would be the legal way to change directions. And you won't almost plow over some poor soul in the crosswalk almost smashing her to smithereens!

Thursday, December 6, 2007

When The List Doesn't Add Up

I'm assuming all of you know that when you RSVP to say you'll be a guest at a wedding the bride and groom then add you to their guest list.

But maybe some of you aren't aware that the list then goes through a metamorphosis becoming a seating chart and emerging as a head count to give to a caterer a few days before the wedding.

Once the bride and groom commit to that number they will have to pay for every meal whether every guest shows up or not. Of course there are always understandable and extenuating reasons why you may not make it to a wedding: illness, accidents, even work can impede into your personal time and cause you to miss a social commitment.

But there are those people who think that it's ok to rsvp for 2, then not show up, or leave before the reception, which basically sticks your host and hostess with footing the additional cost of the uneaten meals. Knowing most reception dinners range from $35 to $100 or more per head, that's an easy $70 to $200+ you just stuck your bride and groom with. Seriously, it's money down the drain.

I'm just saying if you know 3-4 days beforehand you can't make it or you're leaving after the ceremony, drop the bride an email or call her on the phone to let her know so she can make the necessary adjustments to her caterer'st list.

1 + 1 = 0
I know a bride who was more then speechless when one of her guests ducked out after the ceremony. The guest was a vegetarian, so the bride had ordered an entire vegetarian entree with her in mind. When time came for the guest's table to go to the buffet the bride went looking for her so she could let her know there was a non-meat entree for her. When she couldn't find her she asked around only to learn that the guest and her date had left! She heard later through the grapevine that it was because the date was bored and they were tired of waiting for dinner to be served. Mind you this was during a cocktail hour with an open bar and plenty of Hors d'Oeuvres, hand passed and a buffet, so the excuse was weak at best. In any case the bride and groom ended up paying an extra $100+ dollars for those two uneaten meals.

5 + 5 = 0
Another bride I know had over 10 guests in one family not show up because one person didn't feel well enough to attend. It was disappointing on a personal level not to have part of her family there and expensive from a financial standpoint since my friend was charged for all of their uneaten meals.

40 + 40 = 90
Another time I was a guest at a wedding where more people showed up then expected. This caused a problem of not having enough chairs and tables for all of the guests. Especially because it was a sit down reception, not a buffet. So if you say you're bringing yourself and one guest, that means bring yourself and one guest. Not yourself and 2 guests. At least not without clearing the addition with the bride or groom. Most likely they'll say of course you can bring another guest, and can then let the caterer and facility know to add one more to the list. Since many places bring in rentals if 10 extra people show up? There are no tables or chairs to throw together. The delivery truck that could have brought them will have left hours earlier when they delivered the requested number of chairs, tables and place settings.

1+1 = 1
I happened to speak to one of our guests a few days before we turned in the head count to our caterer and he casually mentioned he was not bringing a companion anymore even though he had already rsvp'd for two. Did he call me? Nope. I just happend to contact him for another reason. So please, let your host or hostess know that you'll be coming alone if your guest or date cancels on you. I can't speak for everyone but I'd prefer a guest either let me know as soon as they find out or invite someone else as their date, as opposed to leaving a chair empty at the table and a meal paid for but uneaten.

At the end of the day being a gracious host and hostess curtails the bride and groom from chastising anyone for this type of unnecessary expense. But we as guests can be gracious enough to let our hosts know if we are not going to be able to attend, stay, or bring the number of people we committed to their list when we filled in our RSVP card and dropped it in the mail. Really, it's the least we can do.

Monday, December 3, 2007

My Fav Thai Restaurant in SF

If you go... Order the "Gai Prik Khing" crispy sliced chicken pieces & wok tossed string beans with sweet kaffir prik-khing chili. I did and it was the best! Next time I go I will try to order this dish with tofu instead of chicken. I bet it will still be fabulous.

Years ago, before I became allergic to shellfish and voluntarily gave up eating pork, my other favorite dish here was the "Basil's Panstickers" made of shrimp & minced pork, served with Thai style ginger soy sauce. These were to die for! The vegetarian "Pad Thai" is always a great choice as well.

I've been going to Basil for years and the service has always been professional, attentive and consistent. To me it's a gem. There are many restaurants with terrible service I'll still go back to because the food is so good. Or restaurants where the service is better than the food. But this place has performed 100% on both points every time I've ever been there.

Basil is located South of Market. It's not really walking distance from downtown but it's well worth the effort it takes to drive over.

1175 Folsom St - Between 7th & 8th St (street parking)
San Francisco, CA 94103

415 552-8999